The first version of the Flying Frenchman cocktail was created by Andy Mil. He invented it for the Absinthe brand La Fee Parisienne during an event in London in 2014.
Usually, with coffee cocktails, the aromatic brew dominates the drink. However, the intense anise, fennel, and licorice flavors of Absinthe manage to cut through the coffee taste and create a whole new experience.
Ingredients of the Flying Frenchman
Difford's guide described Andy Mil's creation as an energy drink on steroids. And that's very suitable considering it is such a potent mix of Absinthe, coffee, and coffee liqueur.
Absinthe is a green-colored spirit with an intense anise flavor. Other spices that are typical for Absinthe are fennel and woodworm. - A plant that is also known to be the main ingredient of Vermouth.
Further, Absinthe is known for its high alcohol content, usually between 50% and 75% vol.
That and the fact that it was so famous in the late 1800s and early 1900s that people tried to profit from cheap copies that caused severe side effects brought Absinthe a shady reputation. You can read more on the subsequent ban on Absinthe in our article about the Green Fairy.
Back to the Flying Frenchman, though. Today, you can consume Absinthe without concerns. And a good choice for this coffee cocktail is -obviously- La Fee Parisienne (53% vol.) from the original recipe.
Two decent alternatives, a little more affordable and with a bit higher alcohol content (60% vol.), are the products from Vieux Carre and St. George.
Coffee liqueur for the Flying Frenchman
I like the Flying Frenchman with a sweeter coffee liqueur like Kahlúa. Absinthe and coffee bring in a lot of bitter notes and an alcoholic edge that a coffee liqueur with a higher sugar content will balance out nicely.
Further, Kahlúa is affordable and not too boozy at an alcohol level of 20% ABV. Other coffee liqueur brands often have 25% or even 30% ABV. That is definitely something to consider when making your choice for the flying Frenchman.
If you prefer a less sweet coffee liqueur, you can consider adding a few dashes of simple syrup to balance the flavors of your Flying Frenchman.
The espresso for your Flying Frenchman cocktail should be freshly brewed and hot. It will be cold by the time you pour your drink. But to maintain that beautiful coffee aroma, the espresso has to go into your shaker while still hot.
Also, it will melt some of the ice in the shaker, which, in turn, will lead to the ideal dilution.
Other coffee cocktails
One of the most popular cocktails made with coffee is the Espresso Martini. Even if, like me, you're not much of a coffee person, I'm sure that you will love this drink.
A more refreshing option is the Dirty Horchata. A boozy twist on the Latin American rice drink.
Another crowd favorite is the classic Irish Coffee. Like other coffee beverages, this one is served hot and usually something for the colder days.
Other Absinthe cocktails
Having been banned until the early 2000s, drinks with Absinthe are not as omnipresent as coffee-flavored cocktails.
Still, there are some with a long history, like Ernest Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon, or more recent creations like the Necromancer. For a better overview, check out our overview of the best Absinthe cocktails.
- 1 oz Absinthe
- 1.25 oz Coffee Liqueur
- 1.25 oz Espresso hot and freshly brewed
- 0.25 oz simple syrup optional
- Put all ingredients into your cocktail shaker. Remember that the espresso should still be hot.
- Add a generous amount of ice and shake your drink until your cocktail shaker feels icy.
- Strain your Flying Frenchman into a Martini glass.